How many times have you gotten a new shirt and ruined it the first time you washed it? Maybe it came out a different color or perhaps it came out all shrunk up and looking like something a doll would wear. There is a reason that every piece of clothing comes with laundry instructions!
There also is a reason that your clothing detergent has instructions. The instructions are there for a reason—so that you do not ruin your clothes! It has probably happened to everyone at least once so it is better not to guess. Guessing could lead to costly mistakes and ruined clothing!
There is more information on that little tag than you might know. Here are a few guidelines for how to read the laundry instructions provided by the manufacturer on both your detergent as well as your clothing.
Laundry Instructions on your Detergent Bottle
Before even purchasing your laundry detergent, read the back of the bottle carefully. Washing your clothes is a specialized house cleaning task, and you will need the right detergent for the job.
There are many things to consider, and the type of detergent you buy will depend on your needs. Is the product liquid or powder? Heavy duty or light duty? How about concentrated? Does it include bleach? If it does include bleach, is it color safe? These are all questions that you will need to consider. Also included on the laundry instructions are the ingredients and directions. Read through the ingredients to ensure there is nothing that you or your family is allergic to.
More Information on the Detergent Bottle
Read the directions to find out the recommended temperature of the wash and rinse waters, the best wash cycle to use, and how much product to use. Also included should be the types of fabric the detergent is designed for. There may even be some laundering tips included such as special techniques for stain removal or keeping colors bright.
The detergent bottle will also have cautions and safety instructions as well as an environmental statement telling you how the bottle can be recycled. There will be a number to call if you have any questions or need more information.
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Tags on Clothing
Each piece of clothing you own likely has a tag with laundry instructions printed on it. You need to read it before begin the laundry portion of your house cleaning routine. The tag will tell you what the clothing is made of and how to care for it. The manufacturers know their clothing well. They will know the fabrics, dyes, construction, and the best ways to care for them.
Laundry Symbols and Codes
There also may be laundry symbols and codes on the tags of your clothing. These symbols are part of the laundry instructions and give directions on how to care for your garment. There are symbols for wash, bleach, tumble dry, iron, and dry clean. The applicable symbol may be on the tag instead of words. There may also be codes.
For example, dots depict the heat level of the water. One dot means low heat and three dots signifies high heat. An X through another symbol means that you should not perform that action. For example, an X over an iron symbol would mean that you should not iron that particular garment.
Most of the symbols and codes are self-explanatory. If you are not sure what a particular symbol means, you can find legends and explanations on the internet. Always check and make sure you understand what the laundry instructions are saying BEFORE attempting to clean the garment.
If you follow all of the laundry instructions on both the detergent bottle as well as your clothing, you will prolong the life and appearance of your clothing. While laundry is probably not your favorite house cleaning task, rushing through without following directions will end up costing you lots of money and headaches. Take the time to read the laundry instructions.